Here a few thoughts how our individual history, our past can influence our ability to create a better future.
Deciding based on past experiences
By putting yourself, your history, at the center of your decisions, you let your past shape everyone’s future. You unconsciously create boundaries within everyone has to operate, because you’re trying to protect your colleagues from repeating your own, bad experiences.
Trying to protect the people you’re supposed to lead is the right thing to do. But we should remind ourselves that there is a thin line between protecting people from hurting themselves vs standing in their way, not letting them try out something that in your experience is impossible to achieve.
Instead of acting based on information from the present, inviting everyone to try to go beyond what did not work in the past, you steer everyone away from what feels bad to you.
Your own fears are the biggest innovation killer
I would argue that this unconscious behavior is one of the biggest innovation killers in most larger organizations. A leader should be brave enough to share his fears, so that the team can participate in solving the problems ahead. If leaders base their decisions around their personal feelings without communicating them, they unconsciously limit what the overall organization could achieve without them.
To innovate in the present, we need to base our decisions around everyones current reality, taking into account the richness of the information around us.
Good leaders use their senses to stay connected to the people around them, explore the markets they want to serve and know that they are part of today’s world.
Only in the now can we create a better future and shake off the ghosts of the past. The ghosts might once have been good friends. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to them.
To evolve we need let them go and learn how to live and lead in the present.